Michael Andretti, team owner of Walkinshaw Andretti United, looks on during qualifying for Supercars Adelaide 500 on March 2, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia.
Daniel Kalisz | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
Andretti have teamed up with General Motors in a bid to enter Formula 1 which, if successful, would also see the famous Cadillac name join the grid.
Team owner Michael Andretti has been lobbying the FIA, F1’s governing body, to expand the 20-car grid and has pushed forward with his plans despite a failed 2021 attempt to purchase Sauber, and resistance from F1 teams who have argued that an 11th team would dilute their revenues.
Now, in the wake of FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem opening the door for new teams to join the grid, a collaboration between one of America’s most successful racing teams and its biggest car company has been announced.
Andretti’s main headquarters would be in Indiana while General Motors would be their engine and manufacture partner, with GM brand Cadillac to form part of the entry. The team would be known as Andretti Cadillac Racing.
Sky Sports News understands that there would be no chance of a new entry before 2026, while there are other interested parties exploring F1 aside from Andretti.
Any new entrant request requires the agreement of both F1 and the FIA.
“Today’s news from the United States is further proof of the popularity and growth of the FIA Formula One World Championship under the FIA’s stewardship,” said Ben Sulayemn after Andretti’s announcement.
“It is particularly pleasing to have interest from two iconic brands such as General Motors Cadillac and Andretti Global.
“Any additional entries would build on the positive acceptance of the FIA’s 2026 PU regulations among OEMs which has already attracted an entry from Audi.
“Any Expressions of Interest process will follow strict FIA protocol and will take several months.”
What Andretti now ‘brings to the F1 party’
Andretti said in the announcement, the culmination of four months of negotiations with General Motors, that the American automaker provides the Andretti effort with the additional value rival teams have argued new teams must bring to F1.
“One of the big things was ‘what does Andretti bring to the party?’,” Andretti said. “Well, we’re bringing one of the biggest manufacturers in the world with us now with General Motors and Cadillac.
“We feel that was the one box that we didn’t have checked that we do have checked now. I think we’ll be bringing a tremendous amount of support to Formula 1 and it’s hard for anyone to argue with that.”
F1 immediately responded in the same tone it has used since Andretti began pushing for expansion by noting that it has several parties interested in joining the series and Andretti is simply the most visible. Andretti’s father, Mario Andretti, is the 1978 Formula One world champion.
“There is great interest in the F1 project at this time with a number of conversations continuing that are not as visible as others,” F1 said in a statement.
“We all want to ensure the championship remains credible and stable and any new entrant request will be assessed on criteria to meet those objectives by the relevant stakeholders.”
Andretti said despite F1’s statement, he still believes Andretti Global is the strongest applicant. He admitted F1 has not shared the other interested parties with him.
“We have the opportunity to combine our motorsport passions [with GM] and dedication to innovation to build a true American F1 bid,” added Andretti.
“Together, we will continue to follow procedures and steps put forth by the FIA during the evaluation process. In the meantime, we continue to optimistically prepare should we be fortunate enough to have Andretti Cadillac formally approved as a Formula 1 contender.”